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Covid-19

Concor fast-tracks Covid-19 modules for Jubilee hospital

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2021 Diversified infrastructure and services construction company Concor has successfully completed a fast-track Covid-19 facility at Jubilee hospital, which was handed over on  November 27, 2020, with the company having begun work on site some five months earlier. The turnkey project in Hammanskraal,... 

Waste management sector ready to deal with vaccine-related waste, says Averda

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2021 As South Africa prepares for the rollout of millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines later this year, waste management company Averda's healthcare operations manager Gerhard van der Merwe tells Engineering News the company does not expect much change in the medical waste industry locally when doses... 

Businesses globally re-evaluated their approach to cleaning and hygiene regimes in 2020 owing to the pandemic
Businesses globally re-evaluated their approach to cleaning and hygiene regimes in 2020 owing to the pandemic

New report highlights growing financing gap for climate adaptation 

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2021 The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is warning that current levels of climate adaptation finance are woefully inadequate to support the planning and projects needed to limit the social and economic damage that will arise as a result of intensifying climate change. Distinct from... 

New report highlights growing financing gap for climate adaptation

Western Cape appoints advisory committee ahead of vaccine roll-out

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th January 2021 The Western Cape government has appointed a vaccine advisory committee to advise on matters including science and ethics throughout the vaccine roll-out process. Premier Alan Winde said the Western Cape government had developed a strategy to ensure that vaccines are rolled out safely, efficiently... 

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

Infrastructure market ‘can only get better’, Siemens South Africa CEO avers 

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2021 Siemens South Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo expresses optimism that the country’s much promised infrastructure-led recovery will finally be implemented from late 2021 onwards, describing preparations for the roll-out as impressive. However, she warns that unless the Covid-19 pandemic is brought... 

Siemens South Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo
Siemens South Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo

AU secures 270-million vaccine doses for African countries

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th January 2021 The African Union, through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, has secured 270-million vaccine doses to supply African countries, with at least 50-million doses available for April to June 2021. Avatt, a 10-member team drawn from across the continent, was established in August 2020 by AU... 

AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa
AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa

Home Affairs temporarily suspends smart ID, passport applications

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Department of Home Affairs has temporarily suspended certain activities and services until further notice, owing to the rising number of Covid-19 infections across South Africa. Services to be suspended until further notice include applications for smart identification (ID) cards, passports... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

By: Sane Dhlamini     13th January 2021 Round three of the University of Johannesburg/Human Sciences Research Council Covid-19 Democracy survey has revealed that 53% of adults think schools should not re-open until the situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic improves. Schools are due to open on January 27 as infections continue... 

53% of adults think schools should not re-open amid rising Covid-19 infections – survey

MTN offers 1 GB incentive to download Covid-19 Alert app

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th January 2021 Telecommunications giant MTN is offering customers 1 GB of free data for an hour to incentivise the download and zero-rated use of the Covid-19 Alert application. The Covid Alert SA app, designed by Discovery for the National Department of Health, uses Bluetooth contact tracing technology,... 

Extended alcohol ban detrimental for small craft brewers

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2021 The Beer Association of South Africa (Basa), in rejecting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 11 announcement on the extension of a blanket alcohol ban, says such a move will be a “death knell” for many small craft brewers as they will “simply not survive” the extended prohibition. Basa reports... 

Solidarity publishes return-to-work Covid-19 safety plan

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2021 Trade union Solidarity has compiled and distributed a ten-point plan outlining its strategy for the return-to-work of hundreds of employees following the festive season. Solidarity says the premise of the plan is that employers should be “fearless against the [Covid-19] virus”, as well as... 

Return2Work Initiative, Solidarity Fund launch videos to advance workplace safety

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th January 2021 The Return2Work Initiative has launched a range of accessible safe back to work videos to address the need for workplace safety as thousands of South Africans return to work from all over the country. These videos are available free online for use and distribution to any business, union, employee... 

South African doctors, engineers invent device for oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients

By: African News Agency      12th January 2021  A group of South African doctors, engineers and designers based in East London has invented a medical device that revolutionises oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients. A statement from the Umoya-Gabler Consortium behind the project said Cape Town-based specialist medical device manufacturer... 

South African doctors, engineers invent device for oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients

Danish PM to lead IEA commission on making energy transition people-centered 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2021 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced the creation of a high-level global commission, headed by Danish PM Mette Frederiksen, to investigate how to ensure that people are placed at the heart of the unfolding global clean-energy transition. Speaking during a virtual briefing on... 

Dr Fatih Birol
Dr Fatih Birol

BLSA’s Mavuso calls for comprehensive vaccine strategy 

By: Simone Liedtke     11th January 2021 Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso has lamented South Africa’s lack of a vaccine strategy and says that, with the end of the festive season, “it became clear” that the basics thereof had not been in development yet. In her first weekly newsletter of 2021, she said that, unlike many... 

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

First application made for power-tariff relief under new DMRE frameworks 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2021 The first application for tariff relief provided for under the Negotiated Pricing Agreement (NPA) frameworks published late last year by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has been submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for authorisation. Nersa tells... 

First application made for power-tariff relief under new DMRE frameworks

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine likely effective against SA, UK mutation 

By: News24Wire      8th January 2021 Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine appeared to work against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa, according to a laboratory study conducted by the US drugmaker. The study, yet to be peer-reviewed by... 

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine likely effective against SA, UK mutation

Dept urges health, safety of employees as second wave continues

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2021 The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) is urging all businesses to prioritise the health and safety of their employees and to take all necessary steps to ensure they are not exposed to the Covid-19 virus. “It is crucial that industries, businesses and entities, both private and in the... 

SA's two biggest pharmacies plan to offer Covid-19 vaccines

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 South Africa's two biggest pharmacy chains Clicks Group and Dis-Chem Pharmacies said they plan to offer Covid-19 shots at their stores and provide storage and distribution facilities in the vaccine rollout programme once the government provides more details. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday... 

SA's two biggest pharmacies plan to offer Covid-19 vaccines

UK extends England entry ban to travellers from 11 African countries for Covid variant

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 The United Kingdom will extend a ban on travellers entering England to southern African countries in a measure to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 variant identified in South Africa. The restriction will take effect on Saturday and remain in place for two weeks, the government said in a... 

UK extends England entry ban to travellers from 11 African countries for Covid variant

AMSA says steel shortage will be ‘quickly’ resolved after early restart of blast furnace 

By: Terence Creamer     8th January 2021 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says the earlier-than-planned restart of its second blast furnace at the Vanderbijlpark Works will position the company to “quickly resolve” the current shortage of steel, which has been negatively affecting downstream fabricators and manufacturers... 

The Vanderbijlpark Works
Photo by Creamer Media
The Vanderbijlpark Works

Aspen could produce J&J Covid shots by end-March 

By: Reuters     7th January 2021  Aspen Pharmacare could start production of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa by late March or early April if all approvals are in place, a senior company executive said. All the vaccines produced will be exported to J&J and will be a part of its global supply inventory, Stavros... 

Steel supply squeeze continues for downstream firms 

By: Terence Creamer     7th January 2021 South Africa’s downstream fabricators and manufacturers are continuing to experience difficulties in securing steel and are also confronting rising prices, which could be partly attributed to the throttling of supply over the past few months. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition... 

Steel supply squeeze continues for downstream firms

SA to receive 1-million vaccine doses this month from Serum Institute of India  

By: Thabi Madiba     7th January 2021 South Africa will receive 1-million doses of the SII/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in January, with a further 500 000 doses expected in February. This was according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who announced on Thursday that the Department of Health had secured doses from the Serum Institute... 

SA to receive 1-million vaccine doses this month from Serum Institute of India

IRR wants to know why Covid-19 vaccines cannot be bought privately

By: News24Wire      7th January 2021 The Institute for Race Relations (IRR) wants Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to explain why the private sector is not allowed to buy the vaccines intended to prevent Covid-19. "The prohibition to procure Covid-19 vaccines which is placed on the private sector, including but not limited to medical... 

IRR wants to know why Covid-19 vaccines cannot be bought privately

Amid Covid-19 surge, Mkhize aims to vaccinate for herd immunity

By: Reuters     7th January 2021 South Africa will vaccinate 40-million people or two-thirds of its population against Covid-19 in order to achieve herd immunity, its health minister said on Thursday, as a mutant variant drove daily new cases above 21 000 for the first time. A more contagious coronavirus mutant, first found on... 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Medical schemes to fund Covid-19 vaccinations for both insured and uninsured South Africans 

By: News24Wire      7th January 2021 As South Africa's battle against increasing Covid-19 cases continues, medical schemes are collaborating to help fund vaccinations for some people without medical aid, but the battle against the pandemic might be lost without universal access to the vaccine. The country has seen a dramatic climb... 

Gold mine ups return-to-work protocols as Covid infection numbers spike  

By: Martin Creamer     6th January 2021 Return-to-work protocols at South Deep gold mine have been significantly enhanced to manage the sharp rise in the number of employees testing positive for the coronavirus on return to work after the festive season. Seven hundred and fifty tests have been carried out over three-and-a-half days,... 

Gold Fields executive vice-president and head of the South Africa region Martin Preece.
Creamer Media speaks to Gold Fields executive VP Martin Preece on coronavirus at South Deep gold mine. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Business confidence falls as fears over stricter lockdown regulations rise 

By: Donna Slater     6th January 2021 Business confidence took a beating in December as companies became increasingly concerned that an increase in Covid-19 cases could result in more strict lockdown regulations being implemented, says information and insight provider IHS Markit economist David Owen. Commenting on the company's... 

Business confidence falls as fears over stricter lockdown regulations rise

South African variant unlikely to fully negate Covid vaccines, scientist says

By: Reuters     6th January 2021 A variant of the coronavirus first detected in South Africa is unlikely to completely negate the immunising effects of vaccines, a researcher studying it told Reuters. British scientists expressed concern on Monday that Covid-19 vaccines may not be able to protect against the variant identified... 

South African variant unlikely to fully negate Covid vaccines, scientist says

World Bank warns of extreme poverty setback as South Africa is buffeted by Covid

By: Terence Creamer     5th January 2021 The World Bank expects the South African economy to recover by 3.3% in 2021 and return to a “near potential pace” of 1.7% in 2022 after contracting by an estimated 7.8% during Covid-afflicted 2020. However, it warns in its flagship Global Economic Prospects report, published on Tuesday, that the... 

World Bank warns of extreme poverty setback as South Africa is buffeted by Covid

World risks 'moral catastrophe' if Covid shots delayed in Africa, its CDC chief says

By: Reuters     5th January 2021 The world risks a "moral catastrophe" if Covid-19 vaccinations are delayed in Africa while wealthier regions inoculate their entire populations, the head of the continent's disease control body said on Thursday. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hopes significant... 

World risks 'moral catastrophe' if Covid shots delayed in Africa, its CDC chief says

Ramaphosa calls urgent meeting of National Coronavirus Command Council as death toll rises 

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 The government's National Coronavirus Command Council is expected to meet on Wednesday morning, setting the stage for yet another announcement on the Covid-19 lockdown from President Cyril Ramaphosa by the end of the week. The council's scheduled meeting was only set to happen next week, but... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South African medical insurers may help fund vaccines for broader population

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 South African medical-insurance companies, business organiSations and the government are developing a programME in which the private sector will help fund Covid-19 vaccines for people not covered by insurance. Legislation has been amended to allow the companies to fund shots for people who don’t... 

Pfizer and BioNTech have offered SA discounted Covid-19 vaccines 

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 Pfizer and BioNTech offered to supply South Africa with their Covid-19 vaccine at a discounted $10 a dose, according to a person familiar with the talks, yet the president’s office still described the cost as prohibitive. The price was worked out according to South Africa’s status as a... 

Salba urges enforcement of alcohol-related noncompliance during sales prohibition

By: Donna Slater     4th January 2021 Liquor manufacturers and distributors association the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) reports that, while there has been widespread compliance by the general public in relation to new alcohol regulations, law enforcement agencies need to be rigorous in dealing with illegal... 

Covid-19 vaccine to target two-thirds of the population as govt aims for herd immunity

By: News24Wire      4th January 2021 At least 67% of South Africans will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to ensure herd immunity, health minister Zweli Mkhize has announced during a public briefing. On Sunday, Mkhize unveiled the government's strategy to secure vaccines and roll them out to two-thirds of South Africa's... 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
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